Almost 5 months ago I got an offer for a postdoc in USA. As we knew due to my nationality it will take some time to get the visa, I started working on the project from distance. Even though, my postdoc will be in USA but the project I was working on, was for a company in Canada which has some collaboration with my future postdoc supervisor. Yesterday, I have received an email from supervisor that the company would like to pay me some salary in a consultant basis. I am totally unfamiliar with USA and Canada system and have no idea what does this mean. What should be my expectation for this payment? Will it be the same as my future postdoc salary? Or it may be much lower? I have been working fully on the project and personally expect full salary. Any experiences and advises? Thanks
Only the company can know how much they're prepared to pay, so we can't answer that. It could be more than the postdoc salary, it could be less. It could be higher, but for fewer hours. A consultant position might come with much fewer benefits. You really need to negotiate this with them.
For the future, you'd ideally negotiate this with them before you begin to work. If the company is unscrupulous, or if they didn't give the green light to start the project, you might never get paid at all for the months you've worked. If there is an actual written contract it's much harder to pull stuff like that.
We can't know, it really depends on your particular situation, the relationship of your adviser with the company, company policy, and other factors we do not know.
Job contracts, like most other things in life, are made between individuals and reflect the relationship they have with each other. Talk to them about what they want to achieve, what they propose to pay you, and what you hope to be paid -- conversations are what make negotiations work.